'Mean Mummy'

posted on: Wednesday, 27 January 2010

I am the tiger.

I am shameful as I write this as, yes reader, yesterday I was mean to my kids. This is a taboo Mummy subject - its the unwritten rule; meanness is unacceptable in Mothers, we must be calm, supportive, loving, forever reasonable, funny, nurturing, definitely not shouty - yes. But mean - no.

So here is how it went (the confession starts...). It was early morning yesterday, husband gone already, me getting the children ready for school and no matter how many times I said 'get dressed', 'have breakfast', 'brush your teeth', they just did not move. Like sloths...they lolled, my two children, as if they had all the time in the world. I had aforementioned (previous post) big meeting at work and was wearing the big heels that prohibited the usual running around the house trying to get everyone sorted. My son, who is 4, decided he wanted to build a Lego castle. My daughter could not find her reading book - one that she had had in her hand minutes before. More running up and downstairs ensued...until finally we all get in the car - late, harassed but on our way. By this stage I am fuming...why is it always such a struggle?! What follows on the journey to school is a lecture from me...of the worst kind...about how frustrating it is to me that they don't get ready on time, that they need to learn responsibility (locate the reading book as its important for school, save the Lego castle til later as there is somewhere we have to be right now, like school assembly...). I can see their sullen faces in my rear-view mirror, yet I press on! What was I thinking? We get started on the worst topic ever as it transpires that neither of them brushed their teeth....well, off I went. Like some woman possessed...on the merits of appropriate dental hygiene, how their teeth will literally fall out if they don't look after them, how the dentist will blame them for their tartar build-up...

By this stage, I am even starting to wonder why I am on this rant - we near school and I realise...I have gone too far. Rapidly trying to back-track so they don't go off to school with memories of their mother screaming at them about tooth-brushing in their minds, I try to lighten the mood; my guilt is setting in. As we get out the car I can see two chin wobbles and finally my daughter succumbs (one suspects linked to her abject fear of having to have a filling at the dentist, which I have now single-handledly upped on the anxiety list in her little life).

Tears fall, I feel wretched, we hug but its no good, the damage is done. So I have to leave her, red-faced and over-emotional as I walk away feeling ever so slightly ashamed.

'Where did that mean mummy come from?'
When I collected them from school they asked...ummm I have to say I am not sure where she came from...the pressures of modern life? No excuse! We all really hope she stays away...

Talking of mother-love...this set of photos I just adore. Its pinned up in my kitchen, pulled out of a issue of Vogue last summer. Especially the one at the top left which so utterly captures that mother/daughter emotion.

So, this is for Boo 1: I am sorry xx

Amanda Harlech and Tallulah Ormsby-Gore


  1. Beautiful post, beautiful pictures and beautiful blog! xx MM


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